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         A magazine from the Sapa group • # 2 2004

                                                       MAVIC MAKES WORLD-CLASS
                                                     BICYCLE RIMS FROM PROFILES

                                                                   SHAPE SAPA

                                                         NEW PRODUCTION SYSTEM
                                                     IMPROVES CUSTOMER SERVICE

                                                                    SALES CLIMB
                                                              FOR SMART LADDER

Sapa – the natural choice

       hristmas is just around the corner and we
       will all be able to take a short break before
       beginning 2005.
   From a business perspective, 2004 has been a
year in which the economy has improved and indus-
try in general has enjoyed a favourable development.
Since Sapa has a broad customer base, we have
been able to expand our deliveries, suggesting that
our customers are also developing well.
   Several of our companies have enjoyed very
favourable development during the year. Earnings
have improved and we have strengthened our market
positions. We have worked on meeting customers’
requirements on service, delivery times, quality and
so forth to an even greater extent. This process will
be intensified during 2005, with the goal of Sapa                                                                                                                 8                                                                        14-15                                                          16
becoming the natural first choice when purchasing
profiles, components or heat-transfer materials.

Genesis – Sapa’s version of the Toyota Production
System. Here, we have initiated a comprehensive
process within Sapa Heat Transfer and Sapa
Profiles in Sweden. During the final quarter of the
year, we are beginning the process in additional
Group companies.

   For Sapa’s continued development, it is important
to maintain a favourable mix of acquisitions and
organic growth. Consequently, we have decided to
invest slightly more than EUR 14 M in an expansion
of Sapa Heat Transfer’s production facilities in
Shanghai. The investment will secure our already
strong position in China and Asia and it confirms our
ambition to become a leading global supplier of heat-
exchanger strip to the automotive industry.
   We have decided to invest in a third press in
Poland. This confirms our interest in Eastern Europe
while also reinforcing our market position in Poland.
During the year, value-added operations in Poland
have also developed strongly. Our trend in value-
added processing has also been strengthened             Sapa’s success in France                                                                                                                                        Robots take over warehouses
through the establishment of new plants in China        Today, France is Sapa’s largest market . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6–7                                                                                           Stable aluminium profiles a necessity . . . . . . . . . . . . .14–15
and Lithuania.                                          World-class bicycle wheels from France                                                                                                                          Exclusive waste station with aluminium profiles
   I would like to take this opportunity                Mavic’s rims a popular choice among professional                                                                                                                Landmark for travellers on Sweden’s E4 highway....16
to thank all of our customers for their                 cyclists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8
confidence in us during 2004. I would                                                                                                                                                                                   Profile School: Cross section for right tolerances
also like to thank our employees,                       New President not new to Sapa                                                                                                                                   Tips on aluminium-profile design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18
whose efforts have contributed                          Interview with Kåre Wetterberg . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10–11
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The ladder everyone suddenly wanted
to our favourable development.                                                                                                                                                                                          Sales climbed after television show . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19
                                                        Fun and efficiency at work
Finally, I would like to wish
                                                        Sapa invests in new production system . . . . . . . .12-13
everyone a successful 2005.

                                                                                                                                                          Shape is the Sapa Group’s customer magazine.                                               able via the Internet at
                                                                                                                                                          It is published in eight languages twice annually                                          Editor-in-Chief: Eva Ekselius
                                                                                                                                                          for customers, shareholders, analysts, journal-                                            Production: OTW Publishing
                                                                                                                                                          ists, employees and others. Shape is also avail-                                           Changes of address: Customers should
                                                                                           Shaping the future
Kåre Wetterberg
President and CEO

2 SHAPE • No. 2 2004

                                                                                                                                 Apple opts for aluminium
                                                                                                                                 Thin and lightweight but durable. That is why Apple chose alu-
                                                                                                                                 minium for its latest computers.
                                                                                                                                    “An aluminium case need not be as thick to offer the same
                                                                                                                                 strength,” says Markus Danilsons, president of Swedish dealer
                                                                                                                                    When the Power Mac G5 stationary computer was launched a
                                                                                                                                 year or so ago, the entire case was in natural-colour aluminium.
                                                                                                                                 The latest portable Powerbook G4 series is also encased in alu-
                                                                                                                                 minium. The weight of these computers is the lowest among
                                                                                                                                 portable computers on the market – between two and slightly
                                                                                                                                 more than three kilos depending on the size of the monitor.
                                                                                                                                    “Another advantage of aluminium is its efficiency in conducting
                                                                                                                                 heat. Fast processors generate a lot of heat. An aluminium casing
                     The strength, low weight and conductivity are reasons why                                                   can dissipate that heat quickly,” he adds.
                     Apple has chosen aluminium for its latest computer models.

                                                                                                                     Keen interest in barstool
                                                                                                                  This barstool, which is made with aluminium profiles, combines dura-
                                                                                                                  bility and strength with attractiveness, low weight and comfort. It was
                                                                                                                  displayed at the Adesso Gallery in Stockholm for two weeks, during
                                                                                                                  which it attracted enthusiastic comment. The chair was designed by
                                                                                                                  Swedish set designer and furniture maker Anders Olin.
                                                                                                                     “I wanted a lightweight, strong chair with a chic look, so aluminium
                                                                                                                  profiles were the obvious choice,” he says.
                                                                                                  Unlike most barstools, which are often heavy and awkward, the Olin barstool is so
                                                                                               light that even children and seniors can lift it. There are only five of the barstools in exis-
                                                                                               tence to date. However, Anders Olin is hoping to produce an initial series of not less
                                                                                               than 500 barstools soon.
        Dafo’s fire extinguishers are popular for
        buses and trucks.

        Complex container extinguishes fires
        Recently, Dafo Brands sales of fire extinguishers
        have increased rapidly. Dafo Brands installs
        approximately 2,000 fire extinguishers a year – in
        buses, trucks and heavy vehicles. Sapa has been                                             Brits jack up the tempo
        delivering the profiles for the containers for about                                         “Time is money” is a saying with which                      us is that we can offer the entire chain,
        one year.                                                                                    Sapa customers readily agree.                               from design and manufacturing to pro-
           “The processing and surface treatment of the                                              According to a survey conducted by                          cessing, if desired,” he says. “Our
        profiles is quite demanding,” says Crister Roswall,                                          Sapa Profiles in the UK, customers                          approach gives us excellent control
        Sapa’s sales representative in charge of the                                                 want to shorten lead times further.                         over the production process and the
        account.                                                                                        To meet the customer requirements,                       ability to keep lead times short –
           “There is a high degree of difficulty involved in                                         Sapa Profiles has now opened a new                          which has proven to be increasingly
        extruding the profile for the container, which makes                                         warehouse and distribution centre.                          important, particularly as regards
        this relationship special and interesting.”                                                     Les Elliott, MD of Sapa Profiles, is                     developing new products. Our new
           Sapa’s profiles for the containers consist of an                                          convinced that the new centre will                          distribution centre will help increase
        inner and an outer shell, top and bottom end                                                 have the desired effect.                                    our efficiency and simplify the flow of
        pieces and a piston inside the container.                                                       “The main reason customers choose                        production from order to delivery.”

inform their contact person at Sapa, shareholders     +46 8 459 59 00. Sapa is an international busi-      in aluminium. Sapa has sales of approximately EUR        Lundström, Patrik Angemalm, Kalle Assbring,
the institution that manages their account, employ-   ness group, which develops, manufactures and mar-    1.5 billion and has nearly 7,800 employees through-      Maurizio Camagna, Carl Hjelm, Cajsa Högberg,
ees their salary department and others the            kets value-added aluminium profiles, profile-based   out Europe and in the US and China.                      Susanne Johansson, Jörgen Lindqvist, Maria
Communications Department on                          components and systems, and heat-exchanger strip     Contributing writers in this issue: Mats                 Marrero, Helena Trus, Gustav Vidlund.

                                                                                                                                                                                             No. 2 2004 • SHAPE 3

                                                                                                            New plant in China
                                                                                                            Sapa is investing increasingly in the rapidly growing
                                                                                                            Chinese market. In May, Sapa Profiler AB in
                                                                                                            Sweden opened a new processing plant in
                                                                                                            Shanghai. The aim is to become a complete suppli-
                                                                                                            er of processed aluminium profiles in China. The
                                                                                                            most important customers are the Swedish telecom
                                                                                                            company Ericsson and the American IT company
                                                                                                            Hewlett Packard, HP.
                                                                                                               One reason for the establishment in China is
                                                                                                            the forecasts of ongoing strong growth in the
                                                                                                            local market.
                                                                                                               “Several of our customers, particularly Ericsson,
                                                                                                            are already well established here. We have chosen
                                                                                                            to follow their lead, so that we will continue to be
                                                                                                            able to provide them with optimal service,” says Lars
                                                                                                            Forsberg, who is in charge of the Shanghai plant.
                                                                                                               The automotive industry is also increasingly locat-
                                                                                                            ing manufacturing facilities in China.
                                                                                                               “It has a strong need for a supplier that can sup-
                                                                                                            ply it with high-quality components on site,” says
Czech company Alukov uses patterned aluminium profiles in its pool covers.                                  Lars Forsberg.
                                                                                                               Sapa started its operations in Shanghai in
                                                                                                            1996. Just 100 metres from the newly opened
Decorative pool cover with Decoral                                                                          processing plant is the Sapa Heat Transfer facility
                                                                                                            that produces heat-exchanger strip for the auto-
Imitation wood or stone, or bright colours.         which to date is used only at Sapa in Sweden, is        motive industry.
Decoral makes it possible to coat aluminium pro-    a good example of that,” says Mariusz Sobczak,
files with the pattern or colour of your choice.    export manager at Sapa’s Polish subsidiary.
    Decoral is a type of patterned powder coat-        Decoral can be described as a patterned
ing that creates unlimited possibilities for pat-   powder coating. A specially mixed powder
terned surfaces. A company that appreciates         coating is applied to the profile first, and then
this decorative finesse is the Czech company        the pattern is transferred to the profile. The
Alukov, which designs pool covers that are          pattern original is often a photographic image
sold throughout Europe. The profiles are            of, say, wood or stone. The original is copied
extruded at the Sapa plant in Poland, but the       onto a film that is the carrier of the pigments
actual surface treatment using Decoral is car-      forming the image. The Decoral technique
ried out by Sapa in Sweden.                         ensures deep penetration. The result is a sur-
    “Cross-border co-operation between Sapa         face that has all the properties that are charac-
companies expands the range of possibilities        teristic of traditional powder coating.
available to customers. The Decoral technique,

                                                                                                            Strong forecasts for China persuade Sapa to
                                                                                                            invest in new plant in Shanghai.

                                                       Dualframe system in popular UK apartment building
                                                       In the popular Docklands area of London, a         reinforce the architect’s dynamic design. The
                                                       newly constructed, eight-storey building con-      aluminium doors and windows convey a sense of
                                                       taining 60 apartments features Sapa Dualframe      modernity, purity of line and lightness. Not only the
                                                       aluminium doors and windows. The building,         external doors and windows come from Sapa -
                                                       which has been named “Switch House,” is locat-     the balcony doors are also a Sapa product.
                                                       ed a stone’s throw from central London and            Switch House is just one of many apartment
                                                       offers tenants a magnificent view of the Thames.   buildings where the Dualframe system has
                                                       Sapa’s Dualframe system has been used to           been used.

4 SHAPE • No. 2 2004
                                                     Sapa’s doors and windows keep most things out
                                                     It has now become even more difficult for              “The Dualframe system has grown increasing-
                                                     thieves to get past Sapa’s Dualframe “low-          ly popular with customers,” says Jon Palethorpe,
                                                     threshold doors.” The doors have withstood          head of sales and marketing at Sapa Building
                                                     weather and safety tests qualifying them for cer-   Systems. “The fact that we have passed these
                                                     tification by UK standards organisation BSI. This   tests will help our customers to secure further
                                                     also applies to Sapa’s Dualframe 75 mm win-         business contracts.”
                                                     dow system, which keeps out cold, moisture and         One reason why Jon Palethorpe views the
                                                     heat. Like the doors, the windows are also          certifications as so crucial is the growing impor-
                                                     designed to withstand strong exterior pressure,     tance of the security standard in business speci-
                                                     such as during storms.                              fications – in both the public and private sectors.
     Sapa’s Dualframe windows keep out
     cold, air, heat and thieves.

“Customers are welcome to visit us with their ideas,” says Paulius Velicka (centre),                      Almost 50,000 curious visitors were drawn to
managing director of the Lithuanian plant at the opening.                                                 visit the InnoTrans trade fair.

New plant opened in rapidly growing Lithuania                                                             Visitor record at InnoTrans in Berlin
In October, Sapa opened a new processing              Sapa Profiliai’s largest and most important         Sapa Mass Transportation participated for the sec-
plant in Lithuania – UAB Sapa Profiliai. The       customer is IKEA.                                      ond time in the international InnoTrans trade fair in
plant is located in the country’s second-largest      “We should be able to double our sales in           Berlin, September 21 to 24.
city, Kaunas.                                      this country within one or two years,” says Lars          This year, the fair attracted close to 47,000 visi-
    Sapa opened a sales office in Lithuania back   Forsberg, head of manufacturing at Sapa                tors, up 25 per cent from 2002. The increased
in 1998. Its mandate was to help customers         Profiler AB in Sweden. “We expect more than            interest strengthens InnoTrans’s position as the
with technical solutions for the aluminium pro-    half of our production to go to IKEA. The rest         foremost meeting-place for decision-makers and
files that were imported from Sweden.              goes to export and other local customers.”             other stakeholders in the train industry.
    Development has been rapid since then.            The managing director of the Lithuanian plant,         The areas represented at the fair were train
Today, the plant employs 43 people. A sales        Paulius Velicka, is convinced that Sapa will be        technology, infrastructure, public transportation, IT
office for building systems has also been          the market-leader in processing of aluminium           transport and service.
opened in the capital, Vilnius.                    profiles in Lithuania.                                    Sapa Mass Transportation was presented to
    “We have major plans for the facility in          “We are entrepreneurs. We like partnerships         visitors at a stand that occupied 45 square
Kaunas and ambitious plans generally to            and are professional in our undertakings.              metres. A broad selection of interior and exterior
expand in the Baltic region and Eastern            Customers are welcome to visit us with their           solutions was displayed – solutions developed in
Europe,” says Arne Rengstedt, managing direc-      ideas, thoughts and dreams, which we want to           close co-operation with some of the market-lead-
tor of Sapa Profiler and in charge of Sapa’s       help them realise.”                                    ing producers of train materials.
activities throughout the rest of Scandinavia,        “Basically, we intend to help ‘shape the
the Baltic region and Eastern Europe.              future,’” said Paulius at the opening of the plant.

                                                                                                                                          No. 2 2004 • SHAPE 5

                                    PHOTO: MAURIZIO CAMAGNA

Presses in France busy
round the clock
In ten years, France has become Sapa’s largest market. The presses at the
facility in southern France operate round the clock. Behind the success lies
Sapa’s ability to listen and understand its customers.

     he Sapa plant at Puget in southern                          “For us, maintaining proximity to the cus-   southern France, explains that France is an
     France is essentially never still. The                   tomer goes without saying. Certain suppliers    attractive market for aluminium producers.
     presses are run on a three-shift sched-                  have a tendency to forget the customer. We      Demand for aluminium profiles far exceeds
ule, day and night including Saturday and                     develop amicable relationships over the long    the country’s current production capacity.
Sunday. They are only still during the                        term, which is important both for us and for       “France is the third-largest aluminium-
Christmas holidays and the summer holiday                     our customers,” he says.                        profile market in Europe, with a potential of
month, August.                                                   This focus on working in close proximity     330,000 tons per year. Sapa delivers approx-
  Fernand Venturi is the Managing Director                    to the customer has helped Sapa to be the       imately 50,000 tons per year.
of Sapa Profilés in Puget, about an hour by                   third-largest aluminium-profile supplier in        “Apart from deliveries from our plants in
car from Nice. For him, it is important to                    the French market.                              Puget and Albi, Sapa’s companies in
spend time on the production floor. When                         Moreover, today, France is clearly the       Belgium, Germany and Portugal also deliver
he is at the plant, he is careful to greet                    largest market for Sapa, which has plants in    to the French market – to satisfy the high
everyone and stop and chat a while.                           Puget and Albi outside Toulouse, and ware-      demand,” François Coëffic continues.
  “We were a family company to begin with                     houses and sales offices in seven other            “This is a way of taking advantage of our
and our employees have not lost this feel-                    cities.                                         common production resources. We are tak-
ing,” explains Fernand Venturi as we stroll                      François Coëffic, who is responsible for     ing steps to increase cross-border co-opera-
through the plant. At Sapa Profilés, we have                  Sapa Building System and Sapa Profiles in       tion,” he adds.
no ‘Big Bosses.’”

                           Sapa Profilés’
ACCORDING TO FERNAND VENTURI,                                                “Our greatest challenge, however, is to make the transition
excellent performance is based on a simple                                   from traditional supplier to value-adding supplier.”
strategy: hear what customers want and
understand their needs.                                                                                            François Coëffic, Group Vice President, Sapa

6 SHAPE • No. 2 2004
                                                                                                     FACTS • Sapa France
                                                                                                     Sapa Profilés Puget and Sapa Building
                                                                                                     Systems, both of which are based at
                                                                                                     Puget-sur-Argens on the French Riviera,
                                                                                                     comprise the largest production unit in
                                                                                                        Number of employees: 650 including
                                                                                                     employees of Sapa distribution centres in
                                                                                                     Strasbourg, Vendôme and Toulouse.
                                                                                                        The plant contains two extrusion press-
                                                                                                     es, anodising, re-smelter, coating, manu-
                                                                                                     facturing and warehousing of building-sys-
                                                                                                     tem products. Capacity: 25,000 tons.
                                                                                                        Sapa Profiles Albi and Sapa Lacal are
                                                                                                     located in Albi (which is the birthplace of
                                                                                                     the painter Toulouse-Lautrec).
                                                                                                        The plant contains two extrusion press-
                                                                                                     es, a powder coating facility, a warehouse
                                                                                                     and processing facilities. Capacity:
                                                                                                     19,000 tons. Number of employees: 240
                                                                                                        The Belgium-based Sapa RC System
                                                                                                     has five warehouses/sales offices in
                                                                                                     France, including one central warehouse
                                                                                                     in La Chapelle d’Armentières. The compa-
                                                                                                     ny’s other sites are in Angers, Floirac
                                                                                                     (Bordeaux), Chassieu (Lyon) and
                                                                                                     Strasbourg. Number of employees: 85

Sapa is performing well in France. Moreover, the outlook for further growth is strong.
Demand for aluminium profiles currently far exceeds the country’s production capacity.

THE CONSTRUCTION MARKET, especially, is booming   1992 with its purchase of the plant in Albi.   to further enhance its service to customers.
and accounts for the greatest demand for alu-     Seven years later, Intexalu in Puget became       Demand for profiles is expected to grow
minium profiles. As much as 54 per cent of        part of the Sapa family. Sapa’s most recent    2.8 per cent a year in France, largely as a
Sapa’s sales are conducted in this area.          acquisition, the RCA Group in Belgium,         result of new construction activity in the
   However, Sapa also supplies aluminium          has further strengthened Sapa’s presence       country – an opportunity that François
profiles to prestigious customers such as         in France.                                     Coëffic is anxious to take advantage of.
Peugeot, Renault, Mavic and Samro. Sapa             Sapa Profilés’ plant in Albi is one hour        “Increasing plant capacity is one thing. But
also makes profiles for more niche-oriented       by car from Toulouse. In addition to alu-      our greatest challenge is to make the transi-
industries such as manufacturers of bicycles      minium extrusion, the plant includes a         tion from traditional supplier to value-adding
and inline skates and swimming pool covers,       coating facility, which performs a certain     supplier. That is, we want to create additional
as well as walls, tables, chairs and ladders.     degree of contract manufacturing, which        value for our customers by finding smart,
   Sapa’s establishment in France began in        Sapa in Albi would like to develop further,    innovative and profitable solutions.”

                                                                                                                               No. 2 2004 • SHAPE 7
                                          SAPA IN FRANCE

                                          Thin and lightweight. Rims from Mavic of France are the given choice for many professional cyclists.

                                          World-class bicycle wheels
                                          French company Mavic is a customer of Sapa Profilés in Puget. Mavic manufac-
                                          tures bicycle wheels for the European cycling elite.

                                          IN THE 2004 TOUR DE FRANCE, Mavic placed first   lightest possible wheels, so working with
                                          in winning rims – that is, most of the top-      Sapa we look at how we can further develop
                                          ranked cyclists used Mavic rims. It is no easy   the product.”
                                          task to make bicycle rims for elite cyclists,       Before Sapa starts production of a new
                                          for whom the weight of the wheel is every-       rim profile, all the details are discussed,
                                          thing. Cyclists talk about the rotating mass:    point by point. Alain Litre is in charge of
                                          concentrating the weight of the wheel                  production at Sapa Profilés. He
                                          on its centre, as close to the hub as                       explains that they always study the
                                          possible. Moreover, the rim                                    customer’s sketch in detail, to
                                          must also be torsion-resistant.                                  ensure that it can in fact be
                                             Sapa Profilés in Puget deliv-                                  manufactured.                    Alain Litre, Sapa Profilés, with Secretary-
                                          ers the aluminium profiles                                           “Mavic’s product is tech-     general Dario Bardi.
                                          that Mavic uses in the pro-                                        nically demanding, involv-
                                          duction of its bicycle rims.                                       ing stringent demands on        the question of how they might produce
                                             “Our products involve                                          the dimensioning of the pro-     even lighter wheels for their demanding cus-
                                          entirely different demands than                                 file. The profile is lightweight   tomers. Moreover, as Jean-Christophe Fluhr
                                          products in, for example, the                                 and narrow, and the final            explains, the next step is to produce high-
                                          construction industry,” says Jean-                         result has to be a circular wheel,”     quality rims for the Asian market.
                                          Christophe Fluhr, purchasing manager                  Alain Litre adds.                              “We have already established contact with
                                          at Mavic in France. “Our customers want the         Mavic and Sapa are currently discussing        Sapa in China,” he says.

                                          8 SHAPE • No. 2 2004
Success with profiles
in bathroom
Pressalit Care of Denmark was the first company in the market with aluminium
rehabilitation products for bathrooms. Initially, sales were sluggish, but the
switch from steel to aluminium soon proved to be a smart move.

    he idea of starting to manufacture reha-        Erik is convinced that the focus on innova-     part in the development process, which has
    bilitation products for bathrooms using      tive design has given the company many com-        been of great benefit to us,” adds Erik Boyter.
    aluminium profiles rather than steel was     petitive advantages. As early as 1966, Pressalit      Hanne Rasmussen likens the long period
born at one of Sapa’s seminars on alumini-       Care showed its competitors who was leading        of co-operation to a long and happy marriage.
um profiles. The year was 1988, and alu-         the way when the company launched the first           “As in any relationship, it’s a matter of give
minium had not yet begun to be used in           professionally designed toilet seat. Sweden’s      and take and being sensitive to each other’s
rehabilitation products for bathrooms.           Prince Sigvard Bernadotte and the Dane             needs and wishes,” says Hanne.
  “Initially, sales were sluggish,” admits       Acton Björn were behind the design.                   Today, Sapa supplies two thirds of Pressalit
chief designer Hanne Rasmussen. “It was a                                                           Care’s aluminium profiles and is the only one
few years before the sales curve turned          DESIGNER HANNE RASMUSSEN   was appointed in the    of its suppliers that also has an advisory role.
upwards and we could feel assured that the       1970s immediately after graduating from the           When Shape invites Hanne Rasmussen to
change of material was a success.”               Aarhus School of Architecture. One of her          gaze into her crystal ball and speculate on the
  Design has always been important for           first assignments was to develop a bathroom        future, her response is swift: IT will assume
Pressalit Care.                                  installation that could be raised and lowered      increasing importance, she believes. She also
  “We try to be at the forefront in terms of     to assist functionally impaired people.            predicts that bold combinations of materials
design solutions and choice of materials,”       Rehabilitation products were initially made        will become more common.
says Erik Boyter, President of Pressalit Care.   from steel, but this was later replaced with the      “Aluminium profiles will also be developed
                                                 considerably lighter aluminium profiles.           further and will acquire different characteris-
                                                    “The profiles have many advantages,” says       tics – hopefully, they will become slightly
                                                 Hanne Rasmussen. “They weigh next to noth-         more flexible,” says Hanne Rasmussen.
                                                 ing, simplify assembly and are easy to keep
                                                 clean. They are also attractive and strong, and
                                                 instil a feeling of safety and reliability.”
                                                    Right from when Pressalit Care first began
                                                 using aluminium profiles, Sapa, as the prin-          Facts • Pressalit Care
                                                 cipal supplier, has provided assistance as an         Pressalit Care is a division of the Pressalit
                                                 adviser and partner.                                  Group. Founded in 1954, the company has
                                                    “The co-operation has always functioned            sales of DKK 420 M. Today, the company
                                                 well,” affirms production manager Jonny               has 425 employees. Find out more about
Hanne Rasmussen and Johnny Carlsen at            Carlsen.                                              Pressalit care on
Pressalit Care like to be a step ahead.             “We are pleased that Sapa is also taking

                                                                                                                                  No. 2 2004 • SHAPE 9

Firm grip on work
and leisure
New President Kåre Wetterberg is not new to Sapa

He was a newly graduated engineer when he joined Sapa 30
years ago. Developments have proceeded apace since then –
for the company and for Kåre Wetterberg. The new President
and CEO has a simple explanation for his dynamism: “Sapa is
such an enjoyable company to work at,” he says.
                                                                                                     Kåre Wetterberg does not intend to rest on his laure
                                                                                                     to others and develop continuously as a manager.

      uring a stroll through Humlegården
      Park in Stockholm, Kåre Wetterberg
      keeps a firm grip on the leash, at the                                                            Facts •Kåre Wetterberg
other end of which Maja, a four-month-old                                                               Name: Kåre Wetterberg
Gordon Setter puppy, bounds and frolics.                                                                Age: 55
This is far from being their first visit here,                                                          Home: Apartment in Stockholm
since the park is only a stone’s throw from                                                             Position: President and CEO of Sapa AB
Kåre Westerberg’s home.                                                                                 as of 1 June 2004
   “Much of my leisure time at the moment                                                               Background: Degree in engineering from
is spent on Maja,” he says.                                                                             Chalmers University of Technology
   The puppy is just one of the recent                                                                  1974: Joined Sapa in Vetlanda, southwest
changes in Kåre Westerberg’s life. Another is          The newly appointed President and CEO –          Sweden
his new job as President and CEO of Sapa.              and dog-owner.                                   1986: Appointed managing director of
   He is calm and composed as he describes                                                              Sapa’s profile company in Germany.
his new assignment.                                                                                     1997: Appointed managing director of
   “It is naturally a major challenge – at least it   sidiaries in both Germany and Sweden.             Sapa’s profile company in Sweden.
is one of the greatest challenges I have faced.”        From 2002, Kåre Wetterberg served as            2002: Appointed Executive Vice President
                                                      Executive Vice President to former CEO,           of Sapa AB.
IN THE EARLY 1970S, Kåre Wetterberg studied           Staffan Bohman.                                   2004: Appointed President and CEO of
for an engineering degree at Chalmers                   You have a long career behind you. Can          Sapa AB.
University of Technology. Through a profes-           you point to any special milestone?               Leisure interests: Family, literature and movi-
sor at Chalmers, he came into contact with              “There are many. One was when I first           es. “I like slightly offbeat films. The last time I
Nils Bouveng, one of Sapa’s founders. In              became a manager. It was a crucial event for      went to the cinema, I was the only one there.”
1974, he embarked on a trainee program at             me, since it enabled me to realise how much
Sapa’s plant in Vetlanda.                             responsibility a manager has.
   He has remained with the company since               “Obviously taking over the position of         You have remained with the Group for 30
then, in a variety of positions, including            CEO is of major importance – it would be       years. Haven’t you ever wanted to change
spells as managing director of Sapa sub-              difficult to deny that it is a milestone.”     companies?

10 SHAPE • No. 2 2004
                                                                                                        PHOTO. KALLE ASSBRING
                                                                                                                                markets than we serve today. To succeed,
                                                                                                                                we must focus on our customers and adapt
                                                                                                                                to their needs.
                                                                                                                                   “During the past few years, we have had
                                                                                                                                growth of approximately 10 percent per year,
                                                                                                                                and we want that to continue. There is plenty
                                                                                                                                of scope for Sapa to grow further.”
                                                                                                                                   How, specifically?
                                                                                                                                   “We can increase our competitiveness by
                                                                                                                                utilising the advantages of being a decen-
                                                                                                                                tralised organisation. Sapa must continue
                                                                                                                                with its acquisition strategy and find those
                                                                                                                                companies that best fit in with our opera-
                                                                                                                                tions. But one problem is that the industry is
                                                                                                                                performing well at present, so purchasing
                                                                                                                                companies is expensive.”
                                                                                                                                   Which areas are most important for Sapa
                                                                                                                                at the moment?
                                                                                                                                   “We must focus both on existing business
                                                                                                                                and on expansion. We are currently interested
                                                                                                                                in exploring the markets in China and Eastern
                                                                                                                                Europe. We already have a presence in China
                                                                                                                                with production of aluminium heat-exchanger
                                                                                                                                strip for the automotive industry. Now we
                                                                                                                                must consider how we can gain a foothold
                                                                                                                                with production of aluminium profiles.”
                                                                                                                                   Since the founding of the company in
els, despite having spent 30 years with the same company. As President of Sapa, he aims to listen                               1963, Sapa’s organisation has been cus-
                                                                                                                                tomer-oriented. And this is a fundamental
                                                                                                                                principle for Kåre Wetterberg.
           “As a matter of fact, no. I have changed       interest in production in parallel with the                              “We can make our customers even more
        work assignments on a more or less regular        financial aspects.”                                                   satisfied by raising the level of service,
        basis. During recent years, new opportuni-           While Kåre Wetterberg has a thorough                               improving delivery punctuality and providing
        ties have opened up at regular intervals –        knowledge of the company’s operations, he                             the right quality. Sapa is by no means perfect
        about every four years.”                          is constantly striving to develop and improve                         – much remains to be done. We must be
           Could it not be perceived as a shortcoming     as a manager.                                                         sensitive to customer needs.”
        to lack experience of other corporate cultures?      “It is difficult to have the same image of
           “It is not necessary to switch companies in    yourself as those around you have, so I try to                        WHILE SAPA’S NEW CEO  has a keen interest in liter-
        order to develop. I prefer to think that it is    be sensitive and listen to other people in order                      ature and movies, he is naturally also enthu-
        positive to gain broad experience within one      to change. This makes it important to have                            siastic about aluminium profiles, which can
        company. In my different work assignments,        people around you who can give a fair picture                         also be aesthetically attractive. He cites an
        I have got to know a wide variety of customer     of how you are perceived as a person.”                                example: the “Sting” aluminium chair.
        categories. I have had contacts with all types       How would you describe yourself as a                                  “It’s fantastic – a piece of furniture that is
        of customers, large and small.”                   leader?                                                               almost art. It unites all the most positive fea-
                                                             “I enjoy discussing things and make a                              tures of aluminium profiles in a chair design
        FOR KÅRE WETTERBERG, there was no question of     point of listening to people’s opinions. I also                       that is simple and aesthetically attractive. A
        not accepting when he was offered the posi-       believe I am good at delegating responsibili-                         single profile may be complex in itself, but it
        tion of President. As Executive Vice              ty. I try to be open, frank and honest in all                         only becomes truly interesting when it is
        President, in co-operation with Staffan           situations.”                                                          part of a larger whole, making exciting
        Bohman, he had gained experience of lead-            Kåre Wetterberg has a clear picture of                             design solutions possible.”
        ing the company.                                  what his assignment involves, namely,                                    Kåre Wetterberg says that people are
           “Naturally, Staffan and I each have our        developing Sapa.                                                      dependent on each other in a similar way in
        own hobby-horses. I am perhaps more oper-            “My aim is to make Sapa an even better                             order to function optimally.
        ationally oriented and take a different type of   company, then exploit that fact in more                                  “Relationships with colleagues are incredi-
                                                                                                                                bly important for all people. The organisa-
                                                                                                                                tion as a collective whole is formed by indi-
                        “I try to be open, frank and honest in all                                                              viduals acting together, all of whom con-
                                                                                                                                tribute to making the whole interesting and
                        situations”                                                                                             productive,” concludes Kåre Wetterberg.

                                                                                                                                                            No. 2 2004 • SHAPE 11

                                                                                                                                    ILLUSTRATION: PATRIK AGEMALM
Genesis is based on four rules: 1. Each task is standardised. 2. Internally, there must be a customer-supplier relationship between different units. 3. Everyone
must focus on the production flow. 4. When these three components are functioning, everyone must work for continuous improvements in the production system.

Sapa invests in new
production system
                                                                                                                     corporate revolution? No. Sapa’s new
             Is it possible to work more efficiently and simulta-                                                    production system, Genesis, is more
             neously have more fun at work? Yes. In any case,                                                        like a gradual top-down evolution.
                                                                                                                  “The changes will creep up on us. I’m not
             it will be if the Genesis production system                                                       so sure that customers will notice the differ-
                                                                                                               ence directly. But in the long run, we’ll be
             becomes the next chapter in Sapa’s development.                                                   able to offer products that offer greater value
               “I believe that we will further improve the quali-                                              for money,” says Michael Mononen.
                                                                                                                  Genesis is an adaptation of the world-
             ty of our products,” says Michael Mononen,                                                        famous Toyota Production System, which is
                                                                                                               based on four rules: Each task is standard-
             Group Vice President at Sapa.                                                                     ised. Internally, there must be a customer-
                                                                                                               supplier relationship between different
                                                                                                               units. Everyone must focus on the produc-
                                                                                                               tion flow. And finally, when these three com-
                                                                                                               ponents are functioning, everyone must
                                                                                                               work for continuous improvements in the
                                                                                                               production system.
                                                                                                                  Toyota owes a lot of its considerable suc-
                                                                                                               cess to the Toyota Production System.
                                                                                                               Somewhat simplified, it might be said that

12 SHAPE • No. 2 2004
Toyota cars lack unique sales qualities – the
expansion of the gigantic carmaker is not the      Arne Rengstedt, Managing Director of Sapa
result of a special technology or design.          Profiles in Sweden.
Instead, its success is based on the fact that     How will Genesis affect Sapa’s
its cars are manufactured efficiently and that     customers?
the finished vehicles maintain an evenly              “The activities that are part of the Genesis
high standard.                                     programme will contribute to further improve-
   The path to this position has been long.        ments in delivery reliability and quality.
The Japanese have been developing and fine         ”How will Genesis be noticeable
tuning the Toyota Production System since          internally at Sapa Profiles?
the end of the 1940s. The working method              “Creating increased commitment among
has not passed unnoticed by other industrial
companies and many of Sapa’s customers
                                                   all the employees concerned is important.
                                                   We will notice that there is much better          Higher gear in
use the system. This will now make it easier
for Sapa to also change its working methods.
                                                   order in the plants. Information to employees
                                                   and visitors will become more visual.”            heat-sink area
   “It is a generally known system that is
                                                                                                     Sapa is shifting up a gear in the fast-
appreciated in our industry. We have given it      Bengt Markbo, Managing Director of Sapa
our own name, Genesis, since we have adapt-        Heat Transfer in Sweden.                          growing heat-sink product area by form-
ed the system to our own circumstances.            How will Genesis affect Sapa’s                    ing the Cooling Competence Centre.
BUT THE WORLD is crawling with management             “I believe that customers will notice that     “Faster product development, shorter lead-times
ideas and production systems. Why choose           we are more flexible and offer better delivery    and reduced costs,” Martin Schön talks enthusias-
Genesis?                                           reliability, combined with improved quality.      tically about the new Cooling Competence Centre.
   “The system incorporates a lot of common        Genesis will help us satisfy our customers’          “This is an assignment filled with challenges,”
sense. It is based on four rules. This in itself   future requirements and to simultaneously         he says.
makes it easier to remember,” Michael              develop our profitability. In some way, it will      And Martin Schön is convinced that a real effort
Mononen explains.                                  also become easier to be a Sapa customer.”        will be needed in order to withstand the intense
   Another reason for choosing Genesis was         How will Genesis be noticeable inter-             competition from low-wage countries in Eastern
that Sapa had already introduced a couple of       nally at Sapa Heat Transfer?                      Europe and Asia.
the rules and methods upon which Genesis              “We have already implemented certain              “As an increasing number of players slim their
is based, which made applying the entire           parts of Genesis, since we have worked            organisations and elect to streamline their core
production system much easier.                     with the automotive industry for a long time      business, it is essential that we as suppliers can
   While Michael Mononen and his col-              and we have taken their quality and logisti-      offer attractive turnkey solutions.”
leagues are convinced that Genesis will            cal requirements to heart. Now we have a             The Cooling Competence Centre consists of five
transform Sapa into an efficient and better        system that we can really rally around in a       Sapa employees: Anders Helander, Seppo Tuivinen,
company, he emphasises that the system             structured manner.”                               Sven-Erik Egerskog, Jin Hou and Martin Schön.
cannot do anything by itself. The employees                                                             “The idea is that we will function as a support
must be committed and feel that they are                                                             centre for our colleagues in sales and technology.
participating. Working efficiently must be         Genesis • How it works                            They should be able to consult us and ask ques-
fun. Each individual employee must accept                                                            tions about cooling, when, for example, their cus-
responsibility and feel that he or she has the     Seven principles support the four                 tomers have problems in diverting heat from elec-
authority to act within their specific areas of    Genesis rules:                                    tronics,” Martin Schön explains.
responsibility. The managers are also involved.    • People are the principal asset. Changes            The Cooling Competence Centre works on a
   “If a problem arises within production, it      are 70 per cent about people and 30 per           broad front, focusing on the automotive industry
must be solved directly. Managers and admin-       cent about technology.                            and telecom, whiteware and IT companies.
istrators occasionally focus on the wrong          • If a problem arises, go to the source and
things – they must be out in the organisation      investigate.
solving the problems that arise there.”            • Visual control – check with your own eyes         Facts•Cooling Competence
                                                   what has to be changed.                             Centre
CHANGES OF THIS TYPE take time to become estab-    • Eliminate faults.                                 Sapa Profiles in Sweden generates annual sales
lished, says Michael Mononen. Genesis must         • Search for a predetermined ideal work sit-        of about EUR 215 M, the heat-ink product area
not become just another management cliché.         uation.                                             about EUR 11 M annually. Product development
   “You can’t change people’s attitudes and        • Use stable and predictable work processes.        of heat sinks takes place at the Cooling
behaviour over night. It is easy to be enthusi-    • Use the tools that are available.                 Competence Centre in Finspång, Sweden
astic at first, but we must also show stamina.”

                                                                                                                                  No. 2 2004 • SHAPE 13

Robots take over
Hatteland of Norway builds warehouses with stable profiles

Using robots and aluminium profiles, storage space
is utilised optimally, allowing crates to be retrieved
at the touch of a button.

     he radio-controlled robots crisscross the    crate among the stacks and delivered it to the      “We discovered that many warehouses had
     large matrix of aluminium profiles.          terminal.                                        similar problems. Storage space consisted
     Beneath them, inside the aluminium-            It could be a scene from a science-fiction     mainly of air. The basic idea was to use the
framed cubes, are stacks of goods packed in       movie.                                           space in a more efficient manner,” says Sven
crates. With a few simple key commands,             However, at Hatteland Computer in              Åge Hjorteland, President of Hatteland
the operator orders the retrieval of a particu-   Norway, this vision of the future is already a   Computer in Nedre Vats, Norway.
lar crate somewhere within the system. In a       reality. The concept behind the AutoStore           A traditional warehouse consists of
flash, the robot has sought out the correct       warehouse system was born in 1996.               shelves. To access goods, empty spaces are
                                                                                                   needed between the shelves – decreasing the
                                                                                                   warehouse’s capacity.
                                                                                                      In AutoStore, on the other hand, goods are
                                                                                                   stored in crates that are stacked on top of
                                                                                                   one another. This allows a larger quantity of
                                                                                                   goods to be stored in the same floor space.
                                                                                                      “AutoStore is a compact system that can
                                                                                                   be fully adapted to the building in which it is
                                                                                                   to be housed,” explains Sven Åge Hjorteland.

                                                                                                   A MATRIX OF ALUMINIUM PROFILES ensures that
                                                                                                   crates are placed correctly. Radio-controlled,
                                                                                                   battery-powered robots travel across the sur-
                                                                                                   face of the matrix, moving and retrieving
                                                                                                   crates. If a crate that is to be retrieved is
                                                                                                   located beneath other crates, these are tem-
                                                                                                   porarily moved and then replaced.
                                                                                                     The entire process is computer-controlled.
Hatteland has already registered patents for the system in most countries around the world.        Crates are carried to and from the operator

14 SHAPE • No. 2 2004
AutoStore stacks crates on top of one another, doing away with the empty spaces found in traditional warehouses.

through a portal in the aluminium cube.             Precision in the production of the alu-
  The aluminium profiles forming the core        minium profiles is crucial. The seams           Facts • AutoStore
of the system are delivered by Sapa and the      must be flat to allow the robots to move
process of improving the design is ongoing.      smoothly and without interruption across        • When production of AutoStore is fully
Following careful strength calculations, a       the matrix.                                     under way, the delivery time for a complete
new profile was developed during the sum-           “Accuracy is extremely important. We are     AutoStore system is estimated at about
mer in order to reduce both weight and           talking about minute tolerances, which          three months, depending on the size of
material costs.                                  impose stringent requirements on produc-        the system.
  “We have contributed ideas and expertise       tion” says Harald Bruås.                        • A complete facility weighs between five
in developing the product. The design has                                                        and 20 tonnes.
simply been made more efficient,” says           SAPA AND HATTELAND COMPUTER have collaborated   • AutoStore storage crates measure
Harald Bruås, salesman at Sapa Profiler AS       for several years. According to Sven Åge        200x400x600 mm. The size can be adjust-
in Haugesund, Norway.                            Hjorteland, the partnership has been very       ed according to customer requirements.
                                                 successful.                                     • The contents of the crates can weigh as
                                                   “We are very pleased. Our co-operation        much as 30 kg. The robots are designed
                                                 works extremely well. In my view, Sapa          to lift 50 kg.
                                                 delivers the best products at the best          • Sapa delivers completely ready-to-
                                                 prices,” he says.                               assemble aluminium profiles for AutoStore.
                                                   During the autumn, Hatteland Computer
                                                 has been constructing a pilot facility where
                                                 the new product will undergo final tests.
                                                 After that, the world market awaits. Patents
                                                 for AutoStore have been registered in most
                                                 countries worldwide.
                                                   “The reactions to AutoStore have been
                                                 highly positive. We see a sizeable market
Seams must be flat for crates to run smoothly.   ahead of us,” says Sven Åge Hjorteland.

                                                                                                                         No. 2 2004 • SHAPE 15

Tinted glass and a latticework of aluminium profiles give the building its distinctive character and serve as protection against heat and sunlight.

Exclusive waste station
No one driving along the E4 motorway in southern Sweden can fail to                                      Facts• Gärstad waste
miss the new landmark in the form of the Gärstad waste incineration                                      incineration plant
                                                                                                         The Gärstad waste incineration and dis-
plant. The façade is constructed entirely in glass and is covered with a                                 trict heating plant will become operational
decorative latticework of aluminium profiles.                                                            in 2005. The buildings were designed by
                                                                                                         Esbjörn Adamson, Lena Tomani and
                                                                                                         Adam Wsycichowski of the Berg architec-

       everal new waste incineration plants are       The glass has solar protection properties          tural agency.
       currently being constructed in Sweden       and has a carefully chosen green tint.
       as a result of a new EU directive pro-      Together with the aluminium lattice, posi-            Aluminium lattice
hibiting landfill disposal of waste. Perhaps the   tioned a little way from the façade, it protects      Various types of grids covering glass
most conspicuous of these new plants is the        against heat and sunlight to give a pleasant          façades have been a trend in European
new main building of the Gärstad plant on the      indoor environment.                                   architecture in recent years. In addition to
outskirts of Linköping. The new facility, built       For Lena Tomani and her colleagues, the            being decorative, lattices protect against
next to the existing waste-incineration plant      choice of an aluminium lattice was obvious.           heat and sunlight. The wide-mesh lattice
and towering 45 metres above the plains of            “The material is light, durable and does           used at the Gärstad plant was assembled
the province of Östergötland, houses an incin-     not rust. Furthermore, the system support-            using 3.15 x 3.15 metre aluminium frames.
erator and a flue-gas cleaning plant. At night,    ing the glass of the façade is also made of           The finished aluminium net was delivered
these can be seen in silhouette through the        aluminium and so it was an advantage to use           by Metallvaruhuset and manufactured by a
glass façade of the illuminated building. Lena     the same material.”                                   sub-supplier in Norway. The basic material
Tomani of the Berg architectural agency in            The architects also kept the design in             was produced by Sapa and is a profile with
Stockholm is one of the architects:                mind when choosing the aluminium lattice.             milled longitudinal grooves, which is then
  “Inside the building, there is full activity     The lattice is wide-meshed to blend in aes-           stretched to form a net. The lattice was
twenty-four hours a day. We want to show the       thetically with the building’s size and also to       then powder coated to give it a green tint.
function and use it as part of the exterior        give life to the façade as people move about
architecture,” she says.                           in the building.

16 SHAPE • No. 2 2004
Aluminium subway trains
replace rusting rolling stock
The steel carriages of Barcelona’s subway trains are
rusting. Consequently, 250 new carriages have been
ordered from Alstom Transport. The aluminium profiles
                                                                                                        Soon driverless aluminium trains will be
are produced by Sapa.                                                                                   seen in the Barcelona Metro.

   n tough competition with several other          for the load-bearing profiles in its new trains.    market force today,” he underlines.

I  suppliers, Sapa Mass Transportation has
   secured an assignment to deliver a total of
1,070 tonnes of aluminium profiles to
                                                      “An additional advantage with aluminium
                                                   profiles is their light weight. Since they
                                                   weigh comparatively little, less energy is nee-
                                                                                                          An important precondition to securing
                                                                                                       major contracts is the ability to deliver the
                                                                                                       quantity of products required by the customer
Alstom Transport over a two-year period.           ded to power them,” says Filip Levering, pro-       at the necessary rate. Sapa meets these requi-
   “This is the first time we are the total sup-   ject manager at Alstom Transport in Spain,          rements. With Remi Claeys of Aluminium
plier of profiles for subway trains,” says         which is building the new trains for the            becoming part of the Sapa Group less than
Allan Pedersen, sales manager at Sapa Mass         Barcelona Metro.                                    two years ago, Sapa’s capacity for the produc-
Transportation.                                       According to Filip Levering, the fact that       tion of large profiles was further enhanced.
   Sapa’s aluminium profiles will be used in       less welding is necessary in joining the profi-        “We can now handle bigger orders of large
the construction of 250 subway carriages for       les is also positive. This makes production         profiles and hope to be able to secure further
Barcelona. The ultra-modern driverless             simpler and faster, he considers.                   major assignments,” says Allan Pedersen.
trains are expected to carry 90 million pas-          When the Barcelona Metro contract had
sengers per year and will operate a total          been secured, Alstom obtained estimates
stretch of 41 kilometres and 43 stations.          from several suppliers. Sapa was selected for          Facts: Sapa Mass Transportation
Consequently, the new subway line, which           several reasons. “Alstom had several years’            • Sapa Mass Transportation was founded
will be called Line 9, will be the Catalonian      experience of working with Sapa and co-ope-            in 2002.
capital’s longest and also the longest driver-     ration between us has always worked extre-             • Its goal is to increase the use of aluminium
less system in Europe. It will run from north      mely well,” says Filip Levering. Obviously,            profiles in the rail and ship-building industries.
to south enabling passengers to take the sub-      product quality, delivery reliability and other        • Mass Transportation delivers total solutions
way to the airport.                                key factors were also taken into account.              and acts as a co-operative partner with its
   The older subway trains in Barcelona are           Alan Pedersen names yet another reason              customers.
made of steel. However, since several lines        why Sapa was selected for this much sought             • Mass Transportation’s core operations
run close to the sea, there have been problems     after contract.                                        are within the areas of aluminium profiles,
with corrosion in recent years. For this reason,      “As a result of having considerably incre-          components and integrated solutions.
the Barcelona Metro has chosen aluminium           ased our capacity, we are a much stronger

                                                   Blue and yellow profiles for
                                                   Portugal’s first IKEA
                                                   SAPA IN PORTUGAL provided aluminium pro-           types of glass façade. It is also possible to
                                                   files for the country’s first IKEA depart-         use different colours. For IKEA, blue and
                                                   ment store in Lisbon, which was completed          yellow were used, enhancing the company’s
                                                   in August this year. Façade contractor,            image,” says Sara Monteiro, at Sapa’s mar-
                                                   Martifer, produced and assembled the blue          keting department in Portugal.
                                                   and yellow glass façade, which measures              Façade contractor Martifer is one of Sapa
                                                   2,000 square metres and uses Sapa’s                Portugal’s major customers.
                                                   Mirage VEC façade system.                            “For Sapa, this was a large project –
                                                      “This delivery means a lot for Sapa, part-      not only due to the size of the structure,
                                                   ly financially, but also visually, since IKEA      but also because it may lead to further
      Portugal’s first IKEA with Sapa’s            is so well known. The profile system is flex-      large assignments in the future,” says
      Mirage façade system.                        ible since it can be used for many different       Sara Monteiro.

                                                                                                                                       No. 2 2004 • SHAPE 17

     Profile School/ Cross section for right tolerances
     Design using aluminium profiles allows
     almost unlimited opportunities in the
     dimensions of the cross section. As we
     often say, the only limits are set by your

     When determining dimensions and tolerances,
     it can be useful to know some of the tricks that
     can facilitate the ensuing process. Compared
     with mechanical processing, the tolerances of
     aluminium profiles are relatively wide, particu-
     larly with regard to “soft” dimensions.

     Figure 1. Dimensioning of U profile
     Normally a U profile is dimensioned as in
     Figure 1. Measurement B is a fixed dimension
     providing favourable tolerance, measurement A
     across the top is a “soft” dimension, which is      fixed dimension with a close tolerance and           Figure 3 is normal for a tube with internal fit.
     more difficult to contain and which provides a      measurement D is the “soft” measurement with         The fixed measurements are at the outer edges
     wider tolerance.                                    a wider tolerance. If a more precise fit is          and the “soft” measurements across the cavity.
                                                         required internally, it is also possible to dimen-   For the best tolerances the profile is dimen-
     Figure 2. Often, a closer tolerance is required     sion D somewhat smaller than C and utilise the       sioned as in Figure 4.
     at the bottom of the U profile, in which case, it   give in the flanges.                                    Naturally, the above dimensioning technique
     can be advantageous to use the dimensioning                                                              can be used for all special profiles involving
     given in Figure 2. Here, measurement C is a         Figure 3. The dimensioning of the tube in            similar functions.

                                                                                                    Tougher products
                                                                                                    with safety box
                                                                                                     Using a computerised safety box
                                                                                                     from Germany, Sapa Building
                                                                                                     Systems Ltd tests the durability of
Products able to cope with extreme
weather conditions have become
increasingly important. With its new                                                                 Resilience and resistance to extreme weather condi-
safety box, Sapa Building Systems in                                                                 tions are important characteristics of many Sapa prod-
the UK is able to conduct tests in                                                                   ucts. To save money in the longer term, Sapa Building
accordance with the new European                                                                     Systems Ltd has now invested in a new safety box to
standards.                                                                                           test precisely these characteristics.
                                                                                                        “Our new, completely computerised safety box can
                                                                                                     cope with units measuring as much as 3,500 mm x
                                                                                                     300 mm. In addition, it can perform tests in accor-
                                                                                                     dance with the new European standards. By using the
                                                                                                     new box, we can offer customers advanced technical
                                                                                                     support,” says Jon Palethorpe, sales and marketing
                                                                                                     manager at Sapa Building Systems.

18 SHAPE • No. 2 2004

                                                                                                 Facts • Wingladder
                                                                                                 The aluminium Little Giant Ladder was
                                                                                                 invented by Hal Wing in 1972.
                                                                                                 The ladder is foldable and has 24 different
                                                                                                 Wing Enterprises was founded in 1986
                                                                                                 and is based in Springville, Utah.
                                                                                                 Are you interested in seeing how the lad-
                                                                                                 der works? At, you can
                                                                                                 view the entire TV show!

No one seemed to want the ingenious aluminium ladders. That is, until the daily TV
infomercials started. Since then, sales have soared.

Sales soared after TV show
Little Giant Ladder is the story of an infomercial that turned a forgotten aluminium
ladder into a sales success.

     ittle Giant Ladder was an old invention   each weekend. In a year, sales increased by    make an important decision: if they were
     owned by an old man who wanted to sell    1,000 percent. Sapa was now delivering ten     going to invest in a TV show, then they
     his company. How much money could         times more aluminium profiles than before      would do it properly.
owner and inventor Hal Wing get?               to meet the demand for this small yet hugely      Famous program hosts from DIY shows
   Not much, he soon learned.                  successful ladder.                             were hired, real film was used and the studio
   You see, there was a major problem. The                                                    buzzed with expensive cameras. The invest-
patent on his main product, the Little Giant   SO WHAT MADE this infomercial so successful?   ment has already paid off.
Ladder, had expired and it emerged that          “Our concept was to promise a little and        “We have run the TV show for six months
potential buyers had begun to produce          deliver a lot. And it worked! Less than one    and have already more than recovered the
copies of Hal Wing’s treasured invention. In   per cent of the ladders are returned,” says    cost of our investment,” says Art Wing.
other words, a tricky situation.               Art Wing.                                         Now, the rest of the world is about to expe-
   But Hal and his son Art refused to be         Neither Art nor his father were great fans   rience Hal Wing’s ladder when the TV show
defeated. The product was good, but the        of infomercials and, by their own admis-       is broadcast in Canada, Mexico and Japan.
name was unknown. They decided to take         sion, would never have bought something        The small family business is also set to con-
some aggressive action and do an “infomer-     as a result of watching advertisements of      quer markets in Australia, New Zealand and
cial” – a TV show demonstrating in a peda-     this kind. Their scepticism led them to        in the EU – a tremendous expansion for an
gogical manner the true ingenuity of the                                                       inventor who only last year was planning to
foldable aluminium ladder. With the            “Our concept was to promise a                   sell his life-work.
infomercial broadcast almost daily on                                                             “I’m not really the type of person that
national TV, sales soared and soon between     little and deliver a lot. And it                likes to retire. I am so pleased that I kept the
3,500 and 6,000 ladders were being sold        worked!”                                        company,” says Hal Wing.

                                                                                                                          No. 2 2004 • SHAPE 19
                                                         Roof rails for the Renault Laguna                      alternatives. SMS can shape the profiles
                                                         For a long time, Sapa Automotive has produced          according to preference to combine design and
                                                         roof rails for the Renault Laguna. Renault is          function.
                                                         apparently pleased with Sapa Automotive’s                 SMS’s sales have risen 12-fold in seven
                                                         work because it chose Sapa as its partner in           years. In 1997, its sales were MSEK 8. For
                                                         developing new roof rails for the next generation      2004, the forecast is MSEK 97 M, according to
                                                         of Lagunas. The prestigious assignment con-            Swedish financial daily Dagens Industri. SMS’s
                                                         firms the high quality of Sapa Automotive’s work       success is largely attributable to good technical
                                                         for Renault.                                           solutions in which technology and design are
                                                            Sapa Automotive will work on the project for a      inextricably united, which reflects the company’s
                                                         two-year period.                                       motto “Safety, function and design.”
With the new press from the UK, Sapa in Poland                                                                     Most of SMS Safebracket’s mounts, about 70
will be able to double its capacity.                                                                            percent, are exported from Sweden. The four largest
                                                                                                                markets are the US, Russia, the UK and Spain.
New press in Poland
Sapa continues to expand in Poland and is investing                                                             Scania truck receives award
MSEK 40 in a third press. The press, which comes                                                                During the international automotive exhibition
from Sapa Profiles Ltd in Cheltenham, in the UK, will                                                           Nutzfahrzeuge 2004 in Hanover, Germany, Scania
                                                                                                                launched its latest truck series, which also
allow Sapa Aluminium to press larger profiles of up
                                                                                                                received the “Truck of the Year” award. In the
to 280 mm and to double its capacity to 24,000
                                                                                                                truck market, Scania and Volvo are the largest
tonnes. Consequently, the company will be able to
                                                                                                                users of processed aluminium. This suggests that
broaden its range and reach new customer groups.                                                                there is extensive potential for the use of alumini-
   In recent years, Sapa has experienced rapid                                                                  um by other manufacturers as well.
growth in Poland.
   As early as in 1991, Sapa began to establish a                                                               Awards shower over Sapa in
presence in the country from scratch and, at that                                                               Belgium
time, made its first investment in a new press in                                                               Sapa RC Profiles in Belgium has been named the
Trzcianka. A second press was added in 1995.                                                                    best supplier of aluminium profiles and best supplier
Sapa currently holds 25 per cent of the Polish mar-                                                             overall by Siemens Transportation. Sapa was select-
                                                                                                                ed from among the 300 suppliers assessed.
ket for aluminium profiles and exports extensively in
                                                                                                                    The motivation for the award cited an exceptional-
Central Europe. The Polish market is expected to
                                                                                                                ly innovative, communicative and flexible approach.
keep growing at an average of 10 per cent annually.
                                                                                                                The award was presented in June 2003 during a
   In addition to investing in a third press, capacity
                                                         The boom in sales of flat screen televisions has       supplier event in Germany.
for surface treatment and processing will also be        resulted in skyrocketing sales for SMS’s mounts for        “I feel extremely proud. The award serves as
increased.                                               monitors and projectors.                               recognition not only that Sapa offers advanced
   “The construction boom and the general trend                                                                 technology but also that our approach is appre-
in Poland have contributed to our success,”              Success for flat-screen TV mounts                      ciated by customers,” says Ben Elfrink,
explains Arne Rengstedt, who is responsible for          Flat television screens need stands to stay            President of Sapa RC Profiles in Belgium.
Sapa’s profile operations in Eastern Europe. “We         upright. Even ceiling-fitted screens require special
also have a head start on our competitors by             mounts.
                                                            Swedish company Svenska MonitorStativ
being the first foreign aluminium company in
                                                         (SMS) Safebrackets recognized this need and,
Poland. We have concentrated consistently on
                                                         during its six-year collaboration with Sapa, sales
high quality and flexibility and on building long-
                                                         of the company’s products have risen each year.
term relations with our customers. We hold a lead-          Sapa delivers a large number of profiles each
ing position and have a high level of know how in        year for the Plasma column mount and for the
value-added processing. We offer anodising, pow-         Aero projector mount. The two mounts are used
der coating and processing in Poland. This allows        for plasma monitors and video projectors.
us to deliver complete components and we are                “SMS is now a very important customer,” says
the only company in the country able to do that.”        Crister Roswall, Sapa’s account manager for
   The project to install the new press will begin       SMS Safebrackets.
during the autumn of 2004 and the press is                  “SMS uses aluminium profiles for its products
                                                         because these allow numerous combination
expected to begin production in September 2005.

20 SHAPE • No. 2 2004

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